The downpour dwindled to the light spatter London was so accustomed to. The oily-wet windows of Baker St. manufactured a baffled pointillist landscape tinged with yellow fog and yellow gas lamps. A window to hell.
Holmes upended the bottle of port, the last honey-blood liquid pooling his stained glass. It tasted like wine and sin, and he wondered what Scotland was like right now. No doubt awful, with rain and wet everywhere, and Watson neatly bedded down with his little wife, enjoying one another thoroughly.
“Mrs. Hudsoooooooon!!!!! MRS. HUDSOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNN!!!”
The sound of footsteps neared, seventeen footsteps. He didn’t have to count.
“Mr. Holmes,” she said as she opened the door, outrage in her tone.
“Tell the boy to hail a cab,” Holmes said, carefully rolling to his knees and falling back down to the floor.
“You’ll excuse me saying so, I’m sure. But you’re in no fit state to go anywhere.”
“I need to go to the Yard. Dire news. Business, you understand,” he told the carpet. Or maybe Mrs. Hudson.
“I’m not sending for anything, but I’ll fetch you a cup of hot coffee.”
“Coffee? Dammit, woman,” Holmes growled, sending the empty wineglass across the room. It shattered on the door, and sent Mrs. Hudson into retreat. “I SAID GET ME A CAB NOW!”
“I will! And the devil take you!”
The door slammed. He waited.
= = = = =
He paid the cabby, overtipped him, most likely. And walked the drenched streets, let his sweat-ridden clothes soak up the coal-tainted rain.
What a vile, teeming pit this city was. And Holmes a perfect fit.
The world fuzzed and swung around him, dark and beautiful. The doorway seemed too odd an angle to enter, but he did, fobbed off some story, found the right hall, dismally proper and uninteresting.
It wasn’t an office exactly, but a room nonetheless. Might as well have been a prison: no windows, after all. But a desk and broken bookcases pieced together, with some little system of order to balance the litter of papers and books, haphazard in their arrangement.
“Ah, Lestrade.” The doorjamb was an unexpected friend, solid and comforting against his shoulder. “You’ve friends,” he surveyed of the meeting, faces predictable and well-known. “Good.”
“Mr. Holmes?” asked young Stanley Hopkins, falling over himself to assist Holmes into the room. “You seem unwell. Should I fetch a doctor?”
Holmes’ laughter proved most unsettling. “No, no, my friend, doctors... they aren’t to be trusted, you see.”
“Mr. Holmes,” Hopkins said, taking his arm and leading him into the room. “Why don’t you sit down?” Hopkins shooed Constable Clark out of a chair and bade Holmes sit.
“No, my dear fellow,” Holmes said, striding into what open space there was in the cramped room, “sitting won’t work at all. You see, I’m here to be fucked.”
“Holmes?” Lestrade barked. He jumped to his feet and scuttled around the desk to peer up into the detective’s languid gaze.
“I know you... Lestrade. I know you. Like paper.”
“Mr. Holmes...” the Inspector blustered.
“ ‘Mister,’ like what?” Holmes asked, “a novel? A crime novel? A novel about school boys? Come, come, I know you better than that.”
“He’s drunk,” Gregson said, awed.
“Oh! Point to the inspector!” Holmes said, smiling as he surveyed the room. “I am. I’m intoxicated. And I came here, to the inestimable constabulary for buggery. Buggery or... what you will. But I predict the former. Because, Lestrade, I’m far too valuable to lose to scandal and mediocrity.”
Holmes undressed, his clothes falling about him like old feathers from a wind-shaken raven, hat first. “You see, there’s a devil afoot, roaming the City, and he’s a vile creature, base and fearful, but he’s ours. Ours, because we’re London. You see? No? No. Well, he’s in me, and he demands to be fed; he needs what I need. And right now what I need is you, men all, and virile, I suppose...”
Lestrade huffed out an irritable breath and ran a hand across his weary face as Holmes stripped to his drawers. Lestrade grumped, “We can't put him in the drunk tank like this. He'll fucking end up the bride of half o' London.”
Nervous laughter answered his observation.
Lestrade took a brave step forward, peering up into Holmes’ queer, fathomless eyes as a doctor would, though uncertain what to look for. Then he glanced to his confederates. Clark, Hopkins, Gregson.
Gregson shook his head in disbelief as Clark and Hopkins shared a look of bewilderment.
“What do we do...” Gregson muttered, “...with... a...”
“I believe the word you’re searching for,” Holmes offered, “is desperate invert.”
“A naked detective!” Hopkins all but squealed. “We have to do something,” he ended on a pitiful note, at an obvious loss to what that something might be.
“Yes,” Lestrade said quietly. “Yes, we do. All right, then,” he eyed the men arrayed about him. “If you want no part in this, then get out. Now.” No one moved. “Then Clarkey, close the door. And bolt it.”
“A smart man,” Holmes declared of Lestrade, “when the obvious lies before him.”
Holmes eyed Clark as the man swallowed nervously and slid the bolt home. “Clarkey. You’ve always struck me as more competent than your peers, despite the self-conscious need to please your betters. I don’t suppose the wife would mind?” Holmes asked, untying the drawstring of his drawers, eyebrows drawn up in drunken question.
Clark reddened and his glance danced about the dark room. “Sorry, I--”
“Bolted the door,” Holmes said, letting his underthings drop to the gray stone floor. “There must be something here that tempts you. And you,” he said, abruptly turning to the greenhorn, stepping forward, leaving behind the lonely figure eight of his drawers on the stone floor. “Young Stanley Hopkins. You, surely, shan’t deny it. You’ve the potential to be brilliant, you know. Besides which, I know what you want. You want me. It’s the closest you’ll come to being me, so I suggest you press what advantage you will. I,” and he smiled self-deprecatingly at this, “I should hardly venture to say no.”
“No need to play the coquette,” Holmes said, waving a hand through the heavy air as though to brush away the cobweb of societal etiquette. “You’ll fuck me first. I know the energy of the youth, the pulse of the night - this night - and this deduction is… simplicity itself,” he muttered the final words in a guttural tone and then turned his gaze to the large Inspector in the corner.
Gregson eyed him coolly.
“I admit,” Holmes told him, “to some surprise that your respectable sensibilities didn’t spur you out the door the moment I opened my mouth.”
Gregson would have spoken at this, but Holmes held up a finger for silence and went on: “but I see now that, as in all things, your competition persists.” He glanced knowingly over his shoulder.
“And you, Lestrade,” Holmes said then, turning to aim dark, burning eyes at the Inspector, “I’ve known what you were since the first moment I laid eyes on you. You want what you can’t have and that... that is a shame. I’ll just bet it kills you on the inside to take credit for all the things I’ve done. Don’t lie and tell me it doesn’t matter, because you know I know.”
“You come here to talk our ears off?” Lestrade demanded. “Bend over the desk if you’re so eager.”
“A crude way to begin,” Holmes said, turning to lean his butt up against Lestrade’s desk instead and gesture to Stanley Hopkins. “Do come here, Inspector. Inspector Willing, Inspector Innocent... young, inspired Inspector...”
Hopkins trudged hesitantly over to stand before him, hat clutched between pale-knuckled hands.
“You know,” Holmes said, leaning forward with a drunken tilt of the head to peer down, “holding your hat there only draws attention to it.” Then one hand took Hopkins firmly by the back of the neck and Holmes kissed him, didn’t dally with press of lips or nips here and there, but kissed him deep and pilfered away the neat brown bowler to throw it to the corner.
When they parted for breath, Hopkins darted bird-quick eyes toward the other men in the room. “Do... do I have to...”
“No need to disrobe,” Holmes said, snapping his fingers at Lestrade before he turned to the senior inspector to ask, “Do you have something?”
“What’s this? 'London’s greatest' came unprepared?” Lestrade asked, turning to fetch a case from a low drawer in a cabinet. “That’s a first,” he muttered, opening the not-exactly-standard-issue firearm kit to retrieve a bottle of something clear and smooth. “Here. You owe me two quid.”
“Ta,” Holmes said, smiling widely, darkly, and taking the bottle with the firm press of hot fingers.
He turned those devilish eyes to Hopkins once more. “I do suggest removing your jacket. To facilitate matters.”
No sooner did the fabric hit the floor with a thump than Holmes had maneuvered Hopkins’ braces from his shoulders and unbuckled his belt. In mere moments an oiled hand was preparing the panting young man whose eyes shone with the brightness of fever and whose hands grasped Holmes’ shoulders with welcome, bruising force.
“Hm,” Holmes purred low in his throat and then glanced again to Lestrade. “Awkward angle. Give us a hand?”
Cursing under his breath, Lestrade grabbed the bottle and told him, “Turn over, then; haven’t got all night.”
Hopkins let go so that Holmes could bend over the desk.
Lestrade tried to maintain a blank face, but nervous fear clouded his eyes, and his hands shook as he doused a finger in oil and thrust it into the detective, none too gently.
“Easy there, Lestrade,” Holmes grunted, “You’re not stuffing a goose...”
“Shut it,” the Inspector told him, thrusting in two well-coated fingers. He withdrew quickly, wiping his hand on a handkerchief, and gestured Hopkins forward.
“There’s a good lad,” Holmes said, peeking over his shoulder. “Embrace it,” he said of the emotion roiling behind shining eyes. “Fear feeds the soul as well as anything else. Fuck me. Hard.”
Hopkins ran curious hands up Holmes’ pale flesh as he moved between spread legs.
“Don’t think, don’t bother to think, not now,” Holmes nearly whispered. “Just do it.”
Hopkins nodded and took himself in hand, lining himself up, pushing himself forward-- pushing himself in.
Holmes made a noise like a caged animal, something begging and hurting and wretched, something from hell, welcoming his own torture.
Hopkins would have been frightened off if Holmes didn’t start in at once with filthy encouragements and throaty demands of, “Don’t you dare stop, fuck me like the animal I see behind your eyes, fuck... fuck... harder...”
Holmes gasped for air and breathed out only loud enough for Lestrade to hear, “The devil’s in this room.”
Poor young Hopkins didn’t last long, not with his idol writhing under him, engulfing him and burning hot as hell. He tried to smother his own frantic sounds and stifled the final wail of completion by burying his teeth in Holmes’ shoulder.
“There’s a good lad,” Gregson murmured as Hopkins carefully withdrew, panting and flushed, sweat beading on his forehead and bare upper lip. Gregon clapped him companionably on the shoulder and shuffled forward, towering over Holmes' pale form.
Holmes' breath came quickly, but Gregson reached for the bottle of slick fluid and promised, "I'll quicken your breathing yet, Mr. Holmes."
"Ah, Gregson," Holmes smiled as he tucked one arm under his cheek for support and closed his burning eyes. He spread his legs further apart, offering, "I'm so glad you chose to stay; I can't imagine being satisfied by less than four men tonight."
"Shut your maw," Lestrade informed him, leaning back against a cabinet and crossing his arms. "Hop to it, Gregson," he said, checking the clock in the corner. "Haven't got all night."
"Don't rush a good thing, shorty," Gregson said, flashing him a knowing look. "All good things take time," he said, running broad, square hands over Holmes' sweating flesh. He used large thumbs to spread the blushing flesh before him and moved into place with clinical care. He eased in slowly, teasing. Just the tip of his hard cock moving in and all the way out, savoring the moment of the breach over and over and driving Holmes closer yet to that transient border of sanity with which he continually flirted.
Holmes' little gasping huffs and mewls shuddered through the room in inconstant bursts as Gregson toyed with him, an unfamiliar smirk on those so cool and callous features. His thrusts were never deep enough to give Holmes the satisfaction he was looking for, but subtly stimulating nonetheless.
Holmes tried to move back, to take him deeper, and when the Inspector held him immobile with a bruising hand, Holmes finally spoke out against the treatment. "You foul coquette! Give it to me! Fuck me, God, fuck me… fucking sodomite..." His accusations degenerated to insensible mutterings and he could only stay where he was held down, every muscle of his body on edge as his cock fought to rise against the unforgiving desk.
Gregson remained unmoved, and nothing Holmes did or said could persuade him to give up the languid ebb and flow of his metronomic rhythm.
Even when he came, Gregson barely altered his technique, and in fact only slowed his thrusts, gasping in orgasmic pleasure until he slid all the way in, rapture on his upturned face.
He pulled out carefully with only a considerate pat on Holmes' backside in thanks, and cleaned himself up without any fuss.
“Clarkey,” Lestrade said with a nod, breaking the accumulated silence. “Go on.”
Holmes huffed and groaned and - with some difficulty - turned over onto his back, revealing the reddened tumescence rising at his groin.
Clark bit his lip, a gesture half-hidden behind the ginger mustache, and awkwardly removed his short cloak, wrapped it into a bundle, and tucked it behind Holmes’ neck.
He prepared himself without difficulty, removing no more clothes than necessary and Holmes smiled at him, a diabolical expression that threatened to become a permanent fixture.
“Sir...” Clark whispered, gently lifting Holmes' legs to wrap them around his waist.
Holmes' lips twitched in a characteristic smirk. "Nice and tight for you, Clarkey… Bugger me good."
"Oh, sir…" he sighed out as he pushed in, into the tight, squeezing cavern hot and ready.
Holmes drew him in with legs like steel compression, until Clark was fully sheathed, eyes liquid-deep and shocked, mouth parted in wonder.
Homes leaned up to kiss him, impossible to ignore the bristling mustache that scratched his upper lip and raised gooseflesh on his skin.
Clark kissed with a will; earnestly, heartily, deep and lustily. His broad hands smoothed and cradled Holmes' slick skin in wide, brushing trails as he took up a rhythm purposeful and deep.
He pressed in smoothly, each thrust accented with a final twist of his hips that sent him in far deeper than Hopkins had with his eager love-making, or Gregson with his slow, shallow fucking.
Temporary shivers took up residence in Holmes' torso and he emitted a high-pitched, needful squeak at every thrust until Clark stifled the sound with relentless kisses.
"Holy fuck," Hopkins muttered in awe from his corner, distracted from his attempts to brush out the stain on his trousers.
Clark snuck a hand between their closely undulating bodies to take Holmes' cock in a punishing grip.
Holmes' shivering ceased when he wrapped whipcord arms around Clark's broad shoulders to hold him close, chemical-stained fingers curving like claws to sink into the dark, thick uniform.
Holmes writhed, pinned like an insect to the table as Clark impaled him over and over, faster and faster, grunting into Holmes' mouth as the pressure built and pleasure coiled.
With a throaty oath, Clark straightened and snapped forward and back in a quick series of uncontrollable shoves. He clenched his fist around Holmes' straining cock and Lestrade only barely shot out a hand in time to stifle Holmes' pitiful scream.
Clark shuddered and fought to recover control of his breathing and then carefully withdrew, slowly loosening his grip on Holmes' cock. He stepped back only after one last, deep kiss to pull his clothing to rights.
Every head jerked to attention at the sound of the nearest church bells calling out the hour. Hopkins and Clark bid quick farewells with mutters about shifts and duties, and Gregson covered them as they slipped out the door.
Gregson looked over his shoulder to catch Lestrade's dark eyes, eyes that said 'don't you dare leave me here.'
"Good night," Gregson told them, sneering, and disappeared into the darkened hall.
Swearing under his breath all the way, Lestrade scuttled over to lock the door again.
"You've made quite the impression," he said, looking Holmes over carefully.
Holmes wearily blinked open his eyes, the eyes of a drunk whore. "You're next."
"I'm bloody well not," Lestrade blustered, scampering about to retrieve Holmes' clothes, which had been distributed quite liberally throughout the room.
"Of course you are," Holmes answered, his tone low, even, and sure. "It's what comes next."
"You're a detective, not a fortune-teller," Lestrade argued, shoving Holmes' clothes at him.
Holmes dumped them back on the floor and sat up to bring his cutting gaze closer to the Inspector's. "It's what we both want."
And Lestrade couldn't very well deny that, not with the blood flushing his cheeks and the bulge in his trousers.
"Fine. Get off the desk, then," he commanded.
"Why?" Holmes asked, settling back against the cushion of Clark's cloak.
"Because I'm too damn short to reach; that's why."
Holmes couldn't help but laugh as he lurched upright, cautiously regained his footing, and then lunged forward to frame Lestrade's face in his hands, and capture his lips in a kiss.
Lestrade tried to pull away, to push him away.
Holmes would have none of it, and closed his eyes. He spoke against Lestrade's lips. "Why?"
"Because…" Lestrade could do precisely nothing to hide the emotion in his desperate whisper. "Just don't kiss me. Not if you don't mean it."
For a moment, all that the room contained was two men and their rapid breathing.
"All right," Holmes conceded, dropping to his knees to pull apart the Inspector's neatly tailored clothing.
Lestrade sucked in a surprised breath and latched his hands onto Holmes' hair when the infuriating man took him into his mouth with the flair and experience of a Soho prostitute.
"Seems you're ready," Holmes teased, looking up with penetrating eyes and an unforgivable smirk.
Lestrade said nothing, but threw the constable's cloak to the stone floor in an effort to spare their aging joints. Holmes crawled upon it, spreading his knees and lifting his ass.
Lestrade voiced a muffled phrase, which may have been a prayer or condemnation, as he dropped worshipfully to his knees, taking careful account of all that lay before him: bowed head with hair so mussed the damage seemed irreparable, pale skin all marked over with love-bites and sex-bruises, blushing skin ready for more, corded muscles trembling and exhausted, the subtle impression of a skeleton clothed in flesh before him, flesh that wanted so desperately to be used.
The Inspector reached out carefully (carefully, as though a too-tender hand might betray him) to touch that so-surprising flesh.
Holmes could not help but hiss and whisper, "Welcome to hell," as Lestrade thrust into him.
Lestrade was not gentle; Holmes did not want him to be.
They moved like animals, like the devils Holmes was so certain they were, back and forth with that old piston pump.
Small hands on narrow hips, clothed thighs meeting bare ones, heads bowed and backs arched, moaning and hushing one another at turns.
Lestrade was surprisingly quiet, barely a hiss or groan to betray him while Holmes tried to tuck his head into his arm to hide the frantic wailing.
Tears pricked Holmes' eyes as he was brought yet again so close to the edge of the release he'd been searching for all night. He yelped when Lestrade reached around to touch him, bringing him off with expert frigging as he thrust ruthlessly forward in frenzied, thoughtless motion.
They cried out together, Holmes hiding his own deep-throated exclamation with a fist while Lestrade stifled his whimper by pressing his face to Holmes' articulate backbone.
It took every ounce of self-possession they had not to collapse.
Lestrade eased out with a groan of regret and quickly tidied himself while Holmes crawled into a corner, shaking and wrecked. He put his back to the wall and tucked his arms round his up-drawn knees and stared out into the small darkness with broken eyes.
Almost silent, Lestrade moved about the room, cleaning and adjusting things, throwing the stained cloak round Holmes' shoulders and fetching something from a creaky drawer.
After a wary hesitation, he shambled toward the corner to sit carefully beside Holmes in the shadow.
The unmistakable sound of a match flaring to life preceded the brief burst of light.
“London isn’t hell, you know,” Lestrade said, lighting a pipe stuffed with ship’s. “Every man carries his own hell with him. Didn’t have to bring yours here.”
“Put that out,” Holmes told him, voice dull and empty.
“What?” Lestrade asked with artificial nonchalance, drawing the smoke through the pipe with hollowed cheeks. “Oh... Doctor’s brand, is it?” Lestrade turned to blow the smoke away from them and then carefully tamped down the fire in the bowl to put it out. “Fancy a cigarette then? Got some about here...”
He rolled to his feet with a grunt and shuffled off, returning in a moment with two cigarettes glowing from his mouth. “Here then,” he said, thrusting one between Holmes’ bruised lips as he sat again. “You’ll want it.”
Holmes breathed in and let the smoke fill his lungs, dull his head a moment, and then breathed out.
“You can’t pull a stunt like this again,” Lestrade told him. “I don’t fancy a sojourn to Pentonville, and Watson would have my hide and yours both. So,” he sighed out a smoky breath, “you follow me?”
Holmes’ chin dropped to his chest, cigarette tucked in the corner of his mouth. He agreed, a sour set of drooping nods in assent.
“Right then,” Lestrade said, relaxation creeping into his tone, into his body language as he slumped back against the wall. "We've got to get you dressed. Get you home."
Holmes dragged mournfully at his cigarette and muttered, "Not yet," with a curl of rising smoke. He shifted haltingly to one side, to lay his dark head on Lestrade's strong shoulder.
The Inspector gave a deep sigh and shook his head, but then agreed, "Not yet."
= = = = =